Monday, January 16, 2017
Hi, Friends! I'm going a little less DIY and decorating and a whole lot more Lifestyle on you today. As many of you know, we have a most precious child with autism. A few years ago, I wrote this post thanking Dr. King and honoring him for all of the great ways he has touched my life. Today, I'd like to honor him again. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I'll be eternally grateful for your contribution to the world, today and every day.
I wasn't always as keenly aware of just how grateful I should be to Dr. King for his tireless efforts and contributions to the world we live in today. There was a time in my life when I rather ignorant of such things. I knew he was a great man. I knew he dedicated his life to greater equality for all, but I didn't understand how that affected me personally. I had never really felt the sting of inequality - I still doubt I feel it as acutely as those Dr. King was fighting for, but I have felt it. Having autism in my life changed my views on so many things. It goes without saying that I should have had more appreciation. I'm ashamed that I was that ignorant. But, like most of us, it wasn't until I lived it that I understood it. Funny thing about an understanding of your struggles, it opens your eyes to the knowledge of the possible struggles of others. Sometimes understanding is the most important thing needed for change.
Dr. King’s trials and sacrifices in the 60s created the dialogue necessary to pave the way for equality for all citizens, those with special needs included. We mustn't forget that not long ago, most special needs persons were institutionalized. Deinstitutionalization didn't come in the 60s.. it didn't come until much later - the 70s - but it did come. There is still miles to go in the area of education for special needs students, but today, I feel it is important to appreciate the progress we've made. If you're interested, you can gather a better understanding of that progress here. Without Dr. King's contributions, we wouldn't have these advances. He opened the gateway. He made people stand up and start fighting for equality and against injustices.
Just 50 years ago, my son would have been institutionalized, and all of the horrors that we now know went along with that. He would not have had the right to an education. I would like to believe that with the love I have for him, and my belief in his abilities if we'd lived in that time that I would be doing what I am right now. I'd like to think I'd be teaching him and reaching him on his terms - but the beliefs in those days make me wonder if I'd have understood enough to fight the system.
Dr. King's life and example not only gave us what he fought for - equality - but so much more as well. Through his example, he's given us all the courage to keep on fighting, to keep on trying, and to keep on striving for understanding, for ourselves and for those we love who aren't as able to fight for themselves.
When he said, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals", he could have been speaking directly to so many parents that I know and admire. Those who see the potential in their children and work tirelessly to harness it within them, and help others to see what they see. He could have been speaking to so many children I know who get up every day and work towards their potential, struggling to fit into the world when they'd much rather stay lost in their own. And, he could have been speaking to me, reminding me that even though it can get a little rough, the road to greatness is rarely simple. Greatness requires one to keep on pushing.. keep on keeping on, but that we'll get there.
I don't know what my son will ultimately contribute to the world but, I know he will make a memorable contribution. And, I know that today, he gives so much more than he takes. I am so thankful to live in a world that, for the most part, sees that, and in one that allows him the opportunity to figure the rest out. Dr. King, you are the reason for that, There are no words to thank you. So, today, I honor you and your life. And, thank you in all the ways I know how. Thank you.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
I'm slowly recovering from my so far Powder-room fail, both mentally and figuratively. One day I'll learn to trust my first instincts.. it would save so much time! In any case, it seemed like a superb time to focus on something else.. like my pantry and perfect timing for the January version of the Silhouette Creators Monthly Challenge. Many thanks to Cat of Pocketful of Posies for hosting. This month's theme was refresh!
Believe it or not, this pantry was very organized just a few short years ago, but over time and as our needs have changed, it's become very unorganized indeed!
Sometimes it can be really overwhelming to know where to begin when things get a bit out of control - it happens to all of us! I have a 5 step process for most any kind of storage organization. They go something like this:
1. Evaluate what you need to store.
2. Sort Stage 1: Determine whether to keep, relocate or dispose of each item.
3. Sort stage 2: Sort into categories for storage.
4. Organize! This is the part where you find containers shelving homes.
5. Maintain. If you've found the right home for everything, this will be simple!
In the case of our pantry, the space and shelves are very deep which makes using the door impossible for much other than apron storage. If organized correctly, we have plenty of room for everything we need to store. The first step was realizing the problem we had was the containers we were using were either not properly sized for what we needed, taking up too much room, or not large enough to store what it needed to. Things had definitely gotten out of control!
So much so that we've started moving into other cabinets to hold the overflow.
Following my own process, step two sorting had me realizing how many duplicates I had and also that I had a few things that were a wee bit out of date. Like, ahem, one that had a best by date of 2012.. how?!
After purging any expired foods, I sorted everything into categories that better fit our family's needs. Some were moved to smaller containers, some remained in the larger.
For some categories, such as pasta, rice and bagged snacks, baskets from the Target dollar aisle were a perfect home. I added rope handles to the baskets to allow for easy opening on each shelf.
Drawers were a great alternative for lunch snacks, making it simple to see what is available and what needs to be added to the shopping list.
To complete the organization, I added vinyl labels for each container made on my Silhouette machine. I used the Harlow Solid Italic font in the Silhouette Studio and applied the vinyl to each container using transfer paper.
I can't tell you how nice it is to be able to find everything again! Such a simple project that has made such a big difference in my every day!
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How about you? How do you organize your storage areas?
Thanks so much for stopping by and please be sure to check out the other refresh projects for this month's Silhouette Challenge!
Rachel Teodoro - Making a New Crate Look Vintage + Using a Stencil Made from Vinyl My Life from Home - Farmhouse Glass Kitchen Sign Kock it off Kim - Pantry Refresh and Organization